KFAC daggers in world wide collections

Authors collection

Discovering an edged weapon from the “War to End all Wars” that has not been abused over the ensuing decades is always a rewarding. When you discover that the edged weapon is a near mint Kraftfahr Korps dagger, it is a rare and almost unique experience. Such is the case with this dagger recently acquired in Germany

This pre-war dagger is exquisite in its full mounts of gleaming German silver, close grain ivory, and leather scabbard. Completing the sidearm is a blade etched with a military motif of uncompromising design and execution.

The open crown pommel exhibits a high degree of hand chasing. The alternating crosses and Imperial eagle are finished in rich detail. The crown is internally marked with the assembly number 3. The cylinder shaped ivory grip is very tight grained and perfectly white. As expected it is wrapped with two double strands of steel wire. This wire wrap is secured under the pommel and crossguard. The crossguard is nicely detailed and contains the cast horn of the Kraftfahr Korps dating back to the days of the Volunteer Automobile Corps. The gilded horn is pinned to the obverse crossguard. The crossguard, butt plate and blade tang are also marked with assembly number 3.

The long center ridge blade is etched with a motif of flags, drums, swords and an interwoven floral pattern. The etch is sharply cut in near perfect execution. A final detail of the etch is the shading around the design that provides the viewer with a sense of depth when examining the blade. The ricasso of the blade is stamped with the high neck WKC knight head.

The scabbard is nickel silver mounted as is the dagger. The fittings are pinned to the reverse of the leather with small staples. The scalloped mounts are standard with the top fitting containing the frog hook for vertical wear. The leather scabbard was originally brown and then dyed black. While it is not known for certain why the scabbard was blackened it most likely was done as a personal preference for wear with the late war Kraftfahr Korps uniform.

Truly a rare dagger in perfect condition.

Dagger observe
Beautiful Grip Obverse
Reverse Etching

DFAC dagger with a hirschfängerlike damascus blade

Before the German Volunteer Automobil-Corps introduced the dagger as a side weapon, a much larger and more handsome Hirschfänger was carried from January 1905 on by the members of the Corps.This Hirschfänger, as a truly impressive and heavy side weapon over two feet long , was replaced shortly by the smaller and more elegant dagger.
But between the large Hirschfänger and the dagger there was an interim step. A side weapon with a dagger handle (as we can see on German naval daggers from the 1890 pattern), but having a blade which size still strongly aligned to the Hirschfänger blade.

It was possible for the author to find such a rare side weapon. More than this: this hirschfänger like dagger has a beautiful hand forged damascus blade with a damascus pattern which reminds us of the large roses pattern but during Imperial German production was called "Nonpareil"

It is the only damascus piece worldwide known to exist. A second transitional dagger with the hirschfanger blade does exist in our collection, but the blade is steel with a remembrance etch.
The reader should notice that the handle has an imperial crown which has the closed crown style, as we can see on German Imperial naval daggers from 1890. All brass parts of this impressive side weapon where silver plated, this plating has mostly gone to time.
Both transitional daggers with a hirschfänger like blade are having no metal buffer plate, just a red felt buffer.
The ricasso on this damascus blade is very long. It is presumed that this ricasso was designed that way for a dedication or name engraving.
The scabbard leather body was once painted brown.

This ultra rare dagger most likely dates back into the year 1908.
This dagger was originally purchased from the uniform retailer and supplier Hoflieferant Neumann in Berlin.

DFAC dagger with a hirschfängerlike damascus blade


The German Imperial Automobile Corps and its daggers - By Vic Diehl and H.Hampe